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Canon announces the EOS 40D. Really. This isn't a rumor.

Some of the year-old rumors were eerily prescient. But the Canon EOS 40D is finally here.

Canon EOS 40D
Canon EOS 40D
Canon USA

Although rumors began to circulate about this model as much as a year ago--for example, here's a Crunchgear post from September, 2006--the Canon EOS 40D will finally hit stores within the next two weeks. Unsurprisingly, the much-speculated upon replacement for the EOS 30D introduces some long-requested features, integrates some of the new technology from the EOS 1-D Mark III and delivers the usual bump in resolution and performance. The pricing remains similar to that of the 30D, with a body-only version for $1,299 and a kit including the EF f/3.5-5.6 28-135mm IS USM lens for $1,499.

30D 40D
Sensor 8.2-megapixel CMOS 10.1-megapixel CMOS
A/D conversion 12-bit 14-bit
Sensitivity range ISO 100 - ISO 3200 ISO 100 - ISO 3200
Focal-length multiplier 1.6X 1.6X
Continuous shooting 5 fps
30 JPEG/11 raw
75 JPEG/17 raw
Viewfinder 95% coverage
0.90X magnification
20mm eye point
fixed matte focusing screen
95% coverage
0.95X magnification
22mm eye point
interchangeable matte focusing screen.
2 optional focusing screens $45 each: grid, Super-Precision Matte
Autofocus 9-point AF
single cross-type in center
9-point AF
all cross-type to f/5.6
Live View No Yes
LCD size 2.5 inches 3 inches
Shutter durability 100,000 cycles 100,000 cycles

There's a lot here that strengthens the 40D's credibility as a semipro workhorse. Canon added dust- and weatherproofing on the CF slot, buttons and all connection points, and implemented the same integrated cleaning system that's in the Mark III series. The control layout and menus are similar to that of the Mark III series as well, for a better experience using the 40D as a supplement to those models. Unlike the Mark III, Live View with the 40D supports autofocus; pressing the AF button briefly locks up the mirror, and Canon claims it has a silent electronic first curtain shutter, making it quieter and faster.

Canon EOS 40D
Canon EOS 40D Canon USA

Continuous shooting performance gets a boost from the Digic III image processor, and the increase to nine cross-type AF sensors (up to f/5.6) from one should significantly speed up autofocus performance. Canon claims AF calculation speed is 30 percent faster in the 40D than the 30D. Furthermore, supporting interchangeable focusing screens allows for the option of more precise manual focus.

On the wait-and-see-if-it-matters front, Canon says the larger 3-inch LCD renders a broader color gamut, but shrinks the viewing angle from 170 degrees to 140 degrees. And, although Canon says it's unchanged, the specs indicated that spot size for spot metering has increased slightly, from 3.5 percent to 3.8 percent of the viewfinder--that's relatively large. And it would have been nice to eke out ISO 6,400 in this model.

Nevertheless, we're all eagerly waiting to see what this baby can do. Stay tuned.